Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Health groups urge Australian Government to curb the junk food industry

Health groups urge Australian Government to curb the junk food industry
February 2, 2014

Health groups including Diabetes Australia and the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) are calling on the Australian Government to limit junk food advertising and tax high sugar food and drinks.

PHAA President Associate Professor Heather Yeatman recently stated "Governments can just say no to limit junk food advertising to our children; no to the sponsorship of children's sports by junk food companies, and no to the high levels of sugars, salt and fat in processed foods."

PHAA Chief Executive Michael Moore adds "we know that the industry's self-regulation advertising code is not effective when it comes to controlling junk food advertising; we know that the junk food industry - together with the alcohol industry - is now associated with almost all sports codes, and in particular children's sports; and we know that sugar is 23-24% of our energy intake from foods - it should be less than 20% - and saturated fat is 13-14 % of energy - should be less than 10%.

"We have been working with government to bring about changes in these areas, but for the sake of our children, more change needs to happen, more quickly."

With the World Health Organisation (WHO) apparently considering halving its recommendation on the daily intake of sugar from 10 teaspoons to five, other groups, including Diabetes Australia are calling for a 'sugar tax' on sweetened drinks, including also products like flavoured milk and sports drinks - to limit consumption.

However, the food and beverage industry is hitting back against new campaigns aimed at reducing sugar consumption, prompting critics to compare the industry's position to that of tobacco companies decades ago.

Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) Deputy Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison says there is nothing wrong with sugar, suggesting that scientific evidence, including data from WHO, shows that sugar is not related to obesity.

Dr Annison recently told the ABC "there's no demonstration that sugar of itself is particularly obesogenic or related to any health outcomes."

Diabetes Australia Chief Executive Professor Greg Johnson says the AFGC argument is eerily familiar, stating "these are the sorts of responses that we saw out of the tobacco industry decades ago, when we first started hearing from the College of Surgeons in the United States and leading clinicians and researchers around the problems of tobacco and ill health.

"So it's not a surprise to hear this. But all we can say is: look at the evidence that's coming out and being talked about by many independent, reputable experts and organisations around the world."

To date the response from the Federal Government does not support a 'sugar tax', with Federal Health and Sport Minister Peter Dutton recently emphasising that dietary matters in children are a parental responsibility.

Minister Dutton told Brisbane newspaper The Courier Mail "food taxes and advertising bans don't trump parental responsibility. I want government out of people's lives.

"No-one likes saying no to your kids but that is part of being a responsible parent. No exercise and a constant diet of bad food result in obesity and diabetes. Parents owe it to their kids to take responsibility and action."

Associate Professor Heather Yeatman does not agree, stating "telling parents to 'just say no' to their children's requests for junk food is so simplistic as to be laughable.

"Governments can't ignore their own responsibility when it comes to our children's health.

"Minister Dutton rightly identified that 'the Government can't and shouldn't be in people's kitchens,' but they certainly should be taking much more of their own responsibility.

"Just (saying) no is not as easy as the Health Minister suggests."

The PHAA's Moore adds "for the Minister to say to parents 'just say no' trivialises the importance of childhood overweight and obesity. Our children's health is more important. Government's should be the ones to 'Just say no' to industry influence over our children's lives.

"One initiative that it ready to be implemented is Front of Pack labelling – information that will assist parents to select healthy foods. This should start immediately.

"We know from the actions taken by governments on smoking that such interventions do make a significant difference. We also know from the smoking issue that telling people to 'just say no' doesn't work."

31st January 2014 - HEALTH MINISTER SAYS PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR GETTING CHILDREN ACTIVE

6th January 2014 - AFL NAMES GATORADE AS ITS OFFICIAL SPORTS DRINK

15th February 2011 - SPORTING STARS ENCOURAGE JUNK FOOD CONSUMPTION


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Jonas Leisure

JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 
 

QUAYCLEAN

Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…

read more

Aquatics / Hospitality / Surfaces / Venues

 
 

MYRTHA POOLS

Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness

 
 

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 

Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

The Jump Pad

The Jump Pad is a safe, flat inflatable made in a variety of sizes which can be used indoor or outdoor. From 3mx3m up to a whopping 9mx21m. Markets include Indoor and outdoor playgrounds, schools,…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Play

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business